The Southwest

Fronteras | Borders


The U.S. - Mexican Border: The Tortilla Curtain

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May 8, 2015 —
I guess when this barbed wire fence was erected, the government felt it was enough to keep people from trying to climb it. The chain-linked fence divides the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso and has sharp razors fastened at the top. Its mere presence affects one’s psyche and provides a sense of hopelessness.

The black fence in the background — known as the "Tortilla Curtain" — was built in 1979 in an effort to keep immigrants out of El Paso. It was met with great criticism, not only because people feel it cost a lot of tax payer's money to build it, but also because it is dark, impersonal and looms over border life on both sides.

If you look closely, you’ll see the lights and cameras rising high, looking for action. These borderlines speak loudly without making a sound.

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On the other side of this fence, located alongside a playground off of Paisano Street in El Paso, Border Patrol sit to watch and guard against Juarences climbing the fence.

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The playground above has been set up in the El Paso side of the "Tortilla Curtain." Children play here while families in the U.S. side wait looking to catch glimpses of those on the other side. When they see someone, because of the many layers of barbed wire and fence, all they can do is wave, cry and dream about freedom.

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